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За демократию и права человека в Туркменистане  For Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan
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29.07.2005, 03:21
Former Turkmen deputy premier jailed for 20 years

Rejep Saparov, who was deputy prime minister in Turkmenistan from 1992 to 2002, has received a 20-year prison term on corruption charges, reported on 27 July.

More recently, Saparov had occupied the post of property manager for the presidential administration. He was dismissed from that post on 2 July, when President Saparmurat Niyazov told him, "Since you've worked alongside me for 20 years, I'm not going to arrest you or put you in jail, although you could be arrested today and sentenced to any amount of time," RIA-Novosti reported. reported that Saparov pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, from accepting bribes to storing weapons. The report noted that investigations are ongoing into "the criminal activities of citizens who were appointed to management positions with the aid of Rejep Saparov."

27.07.2005, 20:24
Turkmen leader bans converted left-hand-drive vehicle imports

Text of report by Turkmen government website on 27 July In order to increase road safety, the Turkmen president [Saparmyrat Nyyazow] has issued a resolution prohibiting imports to Turkmenistan of vehicles converted from right-hand drive into left-hand drive, except those in transit.

27.07.2005, 20:20
Kazakhstan appoints new envoy to Turkmenistan

Text of report by Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency

Murat Atanov has been appointed the new ambassador of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan. President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree to this effect today, the presidential press service reports.

Prior to this appointment, Atanov, 52, was the Kazakh Foreign Ministry's special envoy, earlier he had been a consular-general of Kazakhstan in the city of Frankfurt am Main.

According to the press service, Vyacheslav Gizzatov, 63, who was appointed the country's ambassador to Turkmenistan in January 2004, has been relieved of his post.

A few days ago Asgabat accused Gizzatov of involvement in the smuggling of two valuable Turkmen Alabay dogs from the country. The Kazakh Foreign Ministry rejected these accusations.

26.07.2005, 04:50
Turkmen paper accuses Kazakh envoy of smuggling pedigree dogs

An attempt to smuggle two Turkmen Alabay [Central Asian sheep dog] breed dogs to Kazakhstan was prevented at the Garabogaz customs office in [western] Balkan Region on 22 July 2005. The dogs had been sold to a purchaser from Kazakhstan for 7,500 dollars.

The attempt to smuggle the dogs were made by citizens of Turkmenistan Muhammetsayyl Nurmammedowic Sayylow, his cousin Begenc Abdullayewic Durdyyew and Ramis Ramazanowic Kasymow. The Kazakhstan embassy in Turkmenistan assisted them in this. In particular, the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan, Vyacheslav Khamenovich Gizzatov, the third secretary of the Kazakhstan embassy, Tokhtar Igembayev, and the embassy driver, Alexander Balakirev, were involved in the case.

[Passage omitted: Kazakh embassy Toyota Land Cruiser, which has diplomatic immunity when crossing border, was made available]

During an investigation of this case Turkmenistan's law-enforcement bodies established that an attempt to smuggle two thoroughbred dogs named Arwana and Akja had been made. The first of them is Turkmenistan's dog-fighting champion and the second is the offspring of a well-known dog named Akgus.

[Passage omitted: certificates of dogs' breed forged]

Gizzatov in this case acted as the purchaser's representative and it was he who suggested taking the dogs out in an embassy vehicle vehicle, fearing complications using air transport.

[Passage omitted: Officer at cynology commission of Turkmenistan abetted the forgery; the dogs were transported in the embassy car]

Source: Neytralnyy Turkmenistan newspaper website, Asgabat, in Russian 25 Jul 05

25.07.2005, 13:09
Former top Turkmen official given 25-year prison term

The trial of Yolly Gurbanmyradow, former deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan and former head of the governing board of the Foreign Economic Activity Bank of Turkmenistan, has finished, a source in the Turkmen Prosecutor-General's Office has said.

Yolly Gurbanmyradow was dismissed from all posts on 20 May 2005. At a government session held the same day, Saparmyrat Nyyazow ordered the prosecutor's office to open a criminal case against Gurbanmyradow. He was accused of misappropriation of state property, bribery and a number of other crimes, including treason and polygamy.

Gurbanmyradow has been eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison with confiscation of his property and without right to pardon.

Several others have also been sentenced along with him for various crimes, including his wife, Olga Kudratowa, born in 1961, who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Official sources have not yet confirmed the end of the trial of Gurbanmyradow.

22.07.2005, 17:47
"Virtual Catastrophe" for Muslim theological faculty

President Niyazov has ordered "a virtual catastrophe" for Turkmenistan's only official institution for training Muslim imams, a local staff member has told Forum 18 News Service.

All Turkish staff members must return to Turkey, 20 students are being expelled, and the Muslim Theological Faculty's status is to be downgraded.

Forum 18 has been told that "many staff don't want to work with the new teachers and would rather leave the university."

The move is possibly part of an overall government attempt to tighten the already harsh controls over the country's officially registered religious communities, as there have recently been attempts to increase Turkmen state control over the Russian Orthodox Church and isolate the church.

Other officially registered religious communities, such as the Baptists, Seventh day Adventists, Pentecostals and Hare Krishna devotees, also face strong official pressure and restrictions, as do the unregistered - and de facto illegal - communities.

21.07.2005, 17:25
Slovak diplomat appointed EU representative for Central Asia

The EU yesterday officially appointed Slovak diplomat [and former OSCE Secretary General] Jan Kubis as its special representative for Central Asia.

Kubis's immediate first task is to travel to Uzbekistan as soon as possible and to report on his trip to facilitate an re-assessment of the current agreement on partnership and cooperation with this country.

At this stage Kubis's mandate is for six months and after that it can be extended for another 12 months. Kubis's tasks will include promoting good and closer relations between the countries of Central Asia and the EU, contributing to stability and cooperation, addressing threats that may arise in the region with respect to the EU, following political developments in the area and encouraging Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other countries to establish regional cooperation.

14.07.2005, 02:15
Turkmen leader performed "holy mission" - newspaper

Turkmenistan's president, Saparmyrat Nyyazow, has performed "a holy mission" by leading his people towards independence, an article posted on the Turkmen government web site on 22 June has said. The author, Atayew, in praise of Nyyazow's presidential anniversary marked solemnly throughout the country on the previous day, said: "Nyyazow knew beforehand his predestination to perform a holy mission. He led his people towards independence, thus becoming a great leader."

In an article entitled "Homeland and dignity are inseparable" the author lists a number of Nyyazow's "merits" including his recent decision to abandon child labour in cotton fields and an initiative on declaring Turkmen an official language.

On the other hand, the author attacks some unspecified forces for their "attempts to divert" people's minds from Nyyazow's policy. "People see very clearly that so called parties or opposition groups, acting under beautiful slogans, actually pursue their own selfish ends, and therefore, call them a gang of trouble-makers and will never join their ranks," the report says.

According to the author, it is Nyyazow, who prevented troubles in the country at the very start of independence. "Persons such as Syhmyradow, Hanamow and their accomplices do not have a trace of honesty and dignity and are not worried about the country's interests because they are just slaves of their own interests and greediness. That is why they have thrust their hands into the people's wealth to rob it. Those renegades, unhappy at our successes, use any chance to cast doubt on our achievements and to defame the Turkmen people," he says.

"Genuine human rights cannot be associated with those who use their rights just to avoid criminal responsibility. Sooner or later, they will be made responsible for crimes they have committed," Atayew concludes.

Source: Neytralnyy Turkmenistan, Asgabat, in Russian 22 Jun 05

07.07.2005, 14:27
Iran, Pakistan to invite India for gas pipeline talks

Iran and Pakistan have decided to invite India to hold trilateral meetings of their oil ministers to speed up the implementation of the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

Visiting Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and his Pakistani counterpart Amanullah Khan held detailed discussions here Wednesday night and decided to hold trilateral meetings of oil ministers from India, Pakistan and Iran to gear up the implementation of the project.

Jadoon and Zanganeh exchanged views on the talks they had with Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer last month in Islamabad and Tehran respectively, official news agency APP reported Thursday.

India and Pakistan had last month agreed to constitute a Secretary-Level Joint Working Group to thrash out issues and modalities for getting the project off the ground by January 2006.

Both the ministers resolved to invite India to all ministerial or secretary level talks on the ambitious project, the report said. Iranian officials would also attend the proposed Joint Working Group meeting to be held between Indian and Pakistani officials in New Delhi next month.

The ministers told reporters after the meeting that they did not discuss the issue of gas prices as it was considered premature as this stage.

The three sides are expected to exchange information with regard to the financial, technical, commercial and legal aspects of the project and other matters when they meet in August.

The Iranian oil minister had Wednesday [6 July] said he was hopeful of signing a memorandum of understanding on the gas pipeline, after which construction can start in less than a year for the project that "will bring sustainable peace in the region."

"I am hopeful that an MoU will be signed during the talks here, which will determine the major topics regarding the import of gas," he told reporters.

The 4.16bn dollar project envisages supply of gas from Iran to India through Pakistan. Out of the 2,600-km long pipeline, 760-km of [which] would pass through Pakistan.

Source: PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 0806 gmt 7 Jul 05

05.07.2005, 22:27 Гундогар
ICRC vice-president visits Turkmenistan

The vice-president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jacques Forster, completed a visit to Ashgabat,Turkmenistan, where he met Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and the foreign minister, Rashid Meredov.

During his talks, Mr Forster discussed various aspects of the ICRC's activities in the country with a view to working with the authorities to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law and help them implement that law. He also exchanged views with top officials on how best to draw up a mutually acceptable and lasting agreement to enable the ICRC to work on behalf of prisoners and detainees.

The discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere, with both sides agreeing to continue and broaden dialogue and cooperation, says ICRC's press release.

03.07.2005, 20:25
Turkmen newspaper editor sacked for negligence

Turkmen President Saparmyrat Nyyazow has sacked the editor-in-chief of a popular Turkmen weekly newspaper on legal issues, Adalat, for abuse of office, Turkmen TV reported on 1 July.

President Saparmyrat Nyyazow, speaking at a government sitting the same day, accused Hudayberdi Gurbandurdyyew of abusing his official position by issuing an illegal editorial certificate for a non-staff person.

"Holding such a responsible post at Adalat [Eng: Justice], you, nevertheless, committed an unjust act. Why did you - a person I have always seen as a smart young lad - issue this certificate? Perhaps you did it after a bottle of vodka? Instead of loving your homeland and protecting justice, you actually committed an act of injustice. That is why I am dismissing you from your post," Nyyazow said. He ordered Gurbandurdyyew's deputy to take up his duties as editor-in-chief.

Adalat has become popular since the publication of its very first issues in 1997 and currently has a print run of over 65,000 copies. It publishes stories about court sessions, petty crimes and legal advice on various issues.

In a commentary issued later the same day, the Turkmendowlethabarly state news agency had the following to say: "Gurbandurdyyew failed to live up to others' deep trust in him by acting irresponsibly and committing negligence - he issued an editorial certificate for a non-staff person, thus abusing his office."

Sources: Turkmen TV first channel, Asgabat, in Turkmen 1600 gmt 1 Jul 05; Turkmen State News Service, Asgabat, in Russian 1747 gmt 1 Jul 05

03.07.2005, 20:22
Turkmen leader orders cut in number of theology students

Turkmen President Saparmyrat Nyyazov has said that too many students are studying at the theology faculty of Magtymguly Turkmen State University and he suggested that from this year their number should be cut, the [Russian] Interfax news agency reports.

"University graduates are not able to find jobs because this theology faculty produces far too many specialists," Nyyazov stressed on Friday [1 Jul] at an expanded meeting of the republic's Cabinet of Ministers.

Nyyazov also stressed that "we share a common religion and traditions which we should not go beyond". "Otherwise, self-proclaimed mullahs will appear, each of whom will interpret devotions in their own ways which at the end may lead to discord," he added.

The president therefore ordered that the theology faculty of Turkmen State University be closed, leaving a small group of students only, and that a list of common religious rites for all Turkmen be published.

Source: Turkmenistan Gundogar website in Russian 0000 gmt 2 Jul 05

02.07.2005, 04:57
Turkmen leader appoints new top aide

Turkmen President Saparmyrat Nyyazow has sacked one of his close aides, the head of the presidential administration, for "serious shortcomings". Announcing his decision at a government meeting on 1 July, Nyyazow said Rejep Saparow would be treated leniently: "However, I am not going to order your arrest or putting you in jail , though you deserve most severe reprisals for what you have done. Now you have to correct all of your misdeeds and also put back all the money you have dishonestly taken."

Nyyazow's remarks were carried on Turkmen TV later on 1 July.

The president announced that he was appointing as the new head of his administration Aganyyaz Akyyew, a former mayor of Turkmenbasy town in western Turkmenistan. "Aganyyaz comes from Garabekewul [eastern Turkmenistan] and he has few relatives. When I sent him to work at the national security agencies, he even dismissed two of his brothers who were employed as drivers."

Nyyazow also criticized the excessive number of clerics and announced the closure of the theology department at Asgabat State University. "There are too many graduates from the theology department and they cannot be provided with jobs now because there are no vacancies. Therefore, let us set up a limited group [instead of department]. You should calculate all this and hold a meeting and assume leadership of this group," he told the cabinet. Nyyazow also criticized instances of bribery among higher education teachers.

Dwelling on the country's economic performance for the first half of 2005, Nyyazow said GDP growth rate was 20.4 per cent, with a foreign trade surplus of nearly 700m dollars. He also praised the good grain harvest.

Nyyazow appointed the head of the Central Bank, Jumanyyaz Annaorazow, to the post of deputy prime minister in charge of economics and finance. He also ordered the merger of two commercial banks and put Agriculture Minister Begenc Atamyradow in charge of the state grain products' association.

Nyyazow's remarks lasted for about 65 minutes: to be processed as excerpts for release by 1800 gmt 2 July.

Source: Turkmen TV first channel, Asgabat, in Turkmen 1600 gmt 1 Jul 05

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